The city’s historic downtown fire station will get some exterior repairs with an eye toward a long-term plan of putting the station to full use once again.
Facade deterioration of Fire Station 1, at Madison and Jackson streets, will be repaired first, Fire Chief Eddie Bell told The Star Press.
In Wednesday’s meeting of the Muncie Board of Works and Public Safety, the board opened a single bid — of about $109,000 from S.A. Boyce — received for rehabbing part of the station’s exterior. The bid was taken under advisement.
Bell said the repairs would be to the exterior facade. “The top of the building is beginning to deteriorate,” Bell said.
City consultant Arron Kidder said state historic preservation funds would pay for 50 percent of the cost.
But Bell said the city would, ultimately, like to put the station back into full use.
In 2009, under the administration of then-Mayor Sharon McShurley, the city closed the downtown fire station, citing manpower cutbacks.
By 2013, under Mayor Dennis Tyler, the downtown station — as well as another that had been closed, on Mock Avenue — was open again. Grant money was found to pay firefighter salaries.
But because of concerns that the floor in first-floor bays of the downtown station, built in 1905, couldn’t support the weight of firetrucks, the station hasn’t returned to full service. A four-person rescue unit operates out of the back of the station, Bell said Wednesday.
“We hope to get back to that,” the fire chief said. “That would be a good thing for downtown.”
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